It occurred to me recently that it has not rained here in well over a month. It could even be going on two months since we had a real good shower. I’m trying to recall our last one. 

This was going through my mind just this morning as my dog and I hiked up the hill. There was a blanket of clouds covering the entire sky. No breeze; all was calm and still as could be. I could feel rain in the air. 

In Ireland, to have a day or two without rain is unusual. But that’s a land of lush green fields, mountains and forests. You could picture it as somewhat like a sponge attracting moisture. 

The Nevada desert on the other hand is parched and dry. But the rain occasionally comes here too, and when it does it often comes in great abundance. I hope it comes soon. 

Our little town is nestled on a canyon floor. In past years it has seen torrential downpours and flooding from sudden snow melts on higher ground. 

It’s tall rock walls display lines, marks and scars from the great volume of water that flowed through. And all that violent activity over a long time span is what created our canyon.

Back of and above the canyon there are rolling hills that stretch for miles and miles. You can climb up a nearby hill and look down on the lovely little town of Caliente. 

As I was saying, all was still as my dog and I hiked up our hillside trail this morning. He loves to sniff all through the sage brush in search of rabbits and other wildlife of the desert. He was eager to flush something out and have a good exciting chase.

Just then the seven AM church bells rang out from town and echoed up through the rock canyon walls and hills. I thought: what a sweet musical like melody to blend in with the sounds of nature. 

Many of the hillside rocks have a reddish or copper like color. Also there are grey, brown and charcoal colored rocks and some are streaked with splotches of white. Each one has it’s own unique shape, size and special beauty. You could easily set about collecting special specimens of rocks as you might wish to do with beautiful seashells on a beach. 

I was interested in geology as a kid and I collected fossils. However it was not the scientific facts, mineral makeup and categories of rocks which captured me. It was more their solid permeant, almost ageless structure.

Humans, animals, plants and trees come and go in a matter of years. However rocks remain relatively unchanged sometimes for millions of years.

And of course they are but bits and pieces, chips broken off a much larger rock - Planet Earth.

So as I wait for the rain I think what little moisture we have in the air here accumulates high in the atmosphere. When conditions are right it changes into rain drops that fall mainly on the highlands. Water that is not absorbed into the earth runs into clear mountain streams. 

It tumbles over rocks, stones and pebbles attempting to drag them along downhill. Streams twist and wind into rivers, lakes and finally enter the sea. 

At long last the water rests in it’s ocean home sloshing around with the winds and tides. But then one day while enjoying the brightness and warmth of the sun on the sea’s surface, it’s absorbed again as moisture high into the atmosphere. 

In the form of clouds it drifts with the shifting winds. And the cycle continues with rain on the mountain. 

Some say all things in life are supposed to have a purpose. 

It seems to me the purpose of rocks may be to hold on to and preserve the solidity and permeance of time.

Rain’s purpose on the other hand could be to wear down rocks and continue the cycle of life. 

Looks like a yin and yang situation to me.

Alright, bring on the rain!

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com